Valley Rush 3.0 Review
Recently I was able to Demo a Valley Rush 3.0 and I was sure sad to see it go. I have been lucky enough to paddle the previous iterations of the Rush and think the newest in the line is a huge improvement.
What Valley changed.
The cockpit! Finally the deep hole under the cockpit rim has been filled! The previous boats had a very deep cockpit coaming about the knees that we all suspected of bringing water into the boat. The coaming shape is still the same and will fit the same skirts because of it, but the sponging hole is no longer there! The previous Mk II had a solid amount of ‘V’ added in the hull and the 3.0 brings it a bit more forward. Along with the ‘V,’ Valley has added a solid amount of concavity to the bottom of the boat. There is a slight single concavity at the nose that rapidly transitions to a double concave through to the fins. Also changed from the Mk II is a small increase in tail rocker. To round it all out the lines were smoothed and the tail squared off a tad.
What I thought of the boat. Outfitting the boat was rather easy. It came with a tall foam seat which I cut about half an inch off. The seat sits about 3 or 4 inches off the hull. I did notice that the boat did not have loads of foot room in it, I have size 9 feet, but was still comfortable for a couple of hours. The 3.0 did come with a set up for a quad belt which I did not use. There were anchors a bit behind the seat and a D ring in front of the seat. At first I was able to feel the anchors against my hips. After I padded things out a bit more there was no such issue. Moving the anchors back about three inches would make it much more comfortable for someone whose hips are wider than mine. On the hull side, Valley puts in metal fin boxes that were quite easy to adjust and did not want to get clogged with sand. I’m a fan! The Rush 3.0 paddles out rather easy. The boat has a great flatwater speed at my weight (160lbs) and was easily able to punch through 4 foot beach break. When I brought it to something heavier, thick 8+ footers, the boat had enough ‘pop’ to hop over some sizeable walls of whitewater. It did start to struggle to get over whitewater taller than 5(ish) foot, but that may have been fatigue from too much fun…
I had a concern that changing the coaming may cause the thigh braces to flex and loose power in the hip snap when rolling, but I did not notice any of that. A good adjustment! The boat was easy to roll and the trim felt well balanced with the seating position.
Catching waves was surprisingly easy. The boat isn’t terribly long, about 7-4, but has excellent flatwater speed. I think that the square tail makes it much easier to stern squirt into waves and get that easy critical drop. You do have to mind how steep you drop though. The 3.0 doesn’t have a very aggressive nose rocker, but this translates to excellent speed once on the wave. The boat gets through the flats quite easy and generates is own speed without much effort. On the steep and fast waves the boat was able to easily get down the line and hit the lip. Re-entries were smooth and rarely would catch the rails. On the bigger stuff the Rush 3.0 had enough speed to get your bottom turn in and skirt around that big section before lining back up for the walling shoulder. I had no issue with skipping through the flats and carving long top to bottom roundhouses maintained speed well.
I think very highly of this boat. Surfing it was very user friendly but not so friendly that I couldn’t do aggressive maneuvers. Because of the ease I found to surf it, I would recommend it to anyone who can fit in it. In the hands of a beginner it will be a great boat to grow into, easy to catch and cave into waves. In the hands of an expert, the Valley Rush 3.0 will easily podium in any sort of conditions!
Video of the Rush 3.0 in action.